Cotswold Line Cycle Route: Charlbury to Moreton

Into the heart of the Cotswolds by bike

The Cotswold Line Cycle Route is a long-distance cycle route running in parallel with Charlbury's railway - so you can go as far as you like, then take the train back. This ride heads into the Cotswolds through picturesque villages and along country lanes. You can see a dedicated map and route description at the Cotswold Cycling website.

  1. Start in the centre of Charlbury by the Bull and Rose & Crown. Follow the one-way system along Sheep Street (signposted Hixet Wood), then take the first left past the Catholic and Methodist churches, and left again towards the Playing Close. Here, by the Co-op, turn right uphill.
  2. At the crossroads, turn right, then shortly afterwards left (signposted Ditchley). Follow the road out of Charlbury along a gentle uphill.
  3. At the gate of Ditchley Park, turn left along the Salt Way, a slightly bumpy traffic-free 'restricted byway'. Continue along here, as the surface becomes better, to a crossroads with a B road.
  4. Go straight across, and cycle along the undulating road through the village of Taston (take care: gravel on road). Bear right at the headless cross in the village centre, then turn left by the grassy island in the road. Continue out of the village, passing a barn conversion on the left, to Spelsbury.
  5. At Spelsbury, go straight on and follow the road towards Chadlington. You'll pass a turn to the hamlet of Dean on the right - the residence of Prime Minister David Cameron!
  6. In Chadlington, turn right by the cycle-friendly Cafe de la Poste (excellent refreshments available). Pass the deli and butchers, then turn left, descending rapidly to the Tite Inn (currently closed). Haul yourself uphill to the A361.
  7. Head straight across the main road (slight left-then-right dogleg) and follow the quiet lane. Ignore the first turning, and the private drive into the Sarsden Estate (where controversial News International boss Rebekah Brooks lives), and turn left at a crossroads towards Sarsden.
  8. Follow this lovely, quiet road for almost two miles to a T-junction. At the T-junction, turn right, continuing for a short way to a junction with a B road.
  9. Take the B road left (beware traffic), passing the farm belonging to ex-Blur bassist Alex James. At the next junction, you can continue left towards Kingham Station for a return train to Charlbury, or turn right to continue cycling into the village of Kingham.
  10. Pass through Kingham and turn left just after you've left the village. Follow the lane along the Evenlode valley, passing the opulent Daylesford Organic 'farm shop'.
  11. At the main road at the end, go straight across onto a bridleway (warning: bumpy surface; riders of road bikes may prefer to take a short diversion left, then turn right on the next turn). Continue along the bridleway, past the cricket pitch, to the other side of the field. Follow the tree-lined way to Adlestrop Church.
  12. At the church, follow the lane through Adlestrop village, passing the village stores. Turn left at the bus shelter, adorned with the former railway station sign - made famous in Edward Thomas's paean to branch-line Britain, Adlestrop. Bear right at the next turn.
  13. At a T-junction after a mile, turn right towards Evenlode. Continue straight on, through the village, for a distance of three miles.
  14. In Moreton-in-Marsh, you'll meet the A44 road (busy but slow) by the closed Wellington pub. Turn left, then shortly afterwards, turn right on a tarmac footpath across a green open space. Follow this footpath to the railway station bridge. Your train back to Charlbury departs from this side of the bridge!
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